At a virtual convening today, Climate Mayors announced their new Chair to drive local climate action in 2024
December 12, 2023 – Today, Climate Mayors looked to the future as it ushered in its new leadership team and honed in on new pathways to supercharge climate action in 2024. With Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison concluding term as Chair of the organization, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Ohio will take over as Chair for the 2024 year. Having served as Vice-Chair in 2023, he will continue to build his climate legacy as a strong advocate for elevating local climate leadership. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona, who has held her Vice-Chair position since 2021, and new incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor Lauren McLean of Boise, Idaho will round out the Climate Mayors leadership team.
The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Justin Bibb has served as mayor since 2022. As Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb has emphasized the crucial role of local leadership in leveraging historical federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and taking meaningful and equitable climate action in cities like Cleveland, which continue to experience climate vulnerability as a result of historic disinvestment.
As an elected leader devoted to advancing racial, social, and health equity in his hometown, Bibb has highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration and maintained strong ties to community-based organizations focused on achieving the change that Cleveland communities want and need to see in their city.
With climate justice at the heart of his platform, Mayor Bibb works to represent and uplift the concerns of community members who have experienced adverse effects to health and wellbeing as a result of climate change. To ensure this remains of priority, he appointed Cleveland’s first Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice during his first year as mayor. Mayor Bibb has continued to prioritize environmental justice by advancing affordable solar energy for low and moderate-income families in the city, championing the 15-minute city framework as an economic and climate justice policy that connects communities while decreasing transportation emissions and air pollutants, and mobilizing historic federal funding to take multi-level action in order to rapidly decarbonize the Greater Cleveland region. Mayor Bibb also passed an improved Complete and Green Streets Ordinance, which calls for a restructuring of Cleveland’s roads to prioritize people over cars, and is working to reduce flooding and boost communities’ access to water and green spaces through new climate resilience proposals.
Having such robust experience in implementing policies and projects, Mayor Bibb is sure to contribute to the momentum and scale of fellow Climate Mayors’ climate ambitions during his term.
As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Bibb has highlighted three priorities for his one-year term:
- Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcasing city success stories
- Build up funding infrastructure for the organization
- Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors
- Ensure federal funding benefits communities of color and those most vulnerable to climate change
The Climate Mayors is proud to welcome the leadership and innovation of Mayor Bibb as the youngest Chair of our organization. As the world inches closer to reaching irreversible climate tipping points, we acknowledge that there is no time to waste. We must meet the moment and address the climate crisis with urgency and tact – that work continues today.
“I am honored to step into the role of Climate Mayors Chair and to continue to champion ambitious climate action for more just and sustainable cities,” said Mayor Bibb. “With this platform, I will work together with fellow Climate Mayors, the federal government, public and private institutions, and community-based organizations to leverage historic federal funding in a way that benefits communities across the country – particularly those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic injustices.”
“Cities have long led on the forefront of climate change solutions – and with more federal funding flowing than ever, we’re taking our commitments to new heights,” said Mayor Gallego. “I am excited to continue my role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors to serve Phoenix and the nation at large, especially at such a pivotal time. Together with Mayors Bibb and McLean, I am committed to leveraging the Climate Mayors network to advance people-first climate initiatives that meet the unique needs of our communities.”
“Climate Mayors is providing crucial guidance to city leaders across the country to access funds and pool resources and knowledge to advance meaningful climate solutions,” said Mayor McLean. “The role of local governments in creating a climate ready future for our kids and theirs cannot be understated, as we hear from our residents every day how important this work is to them. I am thrilled to join Mayors Bibb and Gallego on the leadership team and to continue this essential work for Boise and beyond.”
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